Whether it be the middle of the college football season, the dog days of summer or the outset of spring camp, recruiting is an ever present part of college football.

There is no such thing as an offseason, and for head coach Kyle Whittingham and company, finding the next batch of Utes is always a priority.

With that in mind, here is a look at Utah’s 2022 recruiting class, with prospects listed according to reporting by 247 Sports, Rivals and the Deseret News.

(All commitments at this point are verbal and non-binding.)


National rankings

247 Sports — 54

Rivals — 54


The latest

The Utes have had a busy couple of days in the lead up to the early signing period. On Sunday, offensive line commit Sione Tavo Motuapuaka backed out of his commitment to the Utes, choosing the Utah State Aggies instead. Shortly afterward, Utah got a commitment from Idaho grad transfer Logan Kendall (TE/FB). On Monday, the Utes received a commitment from another transfer, Syracuse tight end Landon Morris.


Lander Barton

LB — Brighton (Salt Lake City)

6-4, 215

★★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★★ — Rivals

Younger brother of former Utes Cody Barton and Jackson Barton, Lander Barton is rated the second best recruit in Utah in the 2021 class, behind only Corner Canyon quarterback Devin Brown. Considered the 24th-best linebacker prospect in the country, Barton chose the Utes over offers from a host of Power 5 schools, including but not limited to Michigan, Oregon, Texas and Arizona State.

According to the Deseret News’ high school football statistical database, Barton racked up 122 tackles, eight sacks and two interceptions his senior season, while also scoring two defensive touchdowns. Barton also played tight end for the Bengals and as a senior had 37 receptions for 416 yards and eight touchdowns.


Elijah Davis

S — Auburndale (Auburndale, Florida)

6-1, 165

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

Davis committed to Utah on Dec. 8, a week before the early signing period, choosing the Utes over offers from Illinois, Iowa State, USF and others.

A multi-sport athlete – he runs track and field and plays basketball — Davis is the second defensive back to commit to Utah for the 2022 class.

Per 247 Sports, he earned All-County honorable mention honors in track and field in 2020.


Jaylon Glover

RB — Lake Gibson (Lakeland, Florida)

5-7, 195

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★★ — Rivals

Rated the 44th-best running back prospect in the country and the 77th-best overall prospect in the talent rich state of Florida, Glover committed to the Utes over offers from some of the nation’s best programs, including in-state powers Florida, Florida State and Miami.

In three seasons played at Lake Gibson, Glover has rushed for 4,023 yards and 54 touchdowns, averaging close to 130 yards per game. A multi-sport athlete , Glover also runs track and recorded a 11.33 second 100 meter dash as a junior and an 11.22 second 100 meter dash as a sophomore, per 247 Sports.

Glover was The Ledger All-County Big School Offensive Player of the Year last season, after rushing for 1,000-plus yards for the second consecutive year.



Nate Johnson

QB — Clovis (Clovis, California)

6-2, 183

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

A true dual-threat quarterback with offers from a host of teams — including, but not limited to Michigan, TCU, UCLA, ASU, Arizona and Oregon State — Johnson committed to the Utes on June 18. He was recently selected to be one of just 20 quarterbacks nationwide who will participate in the Elite11 Finals, a quarterback competition generally viewed as the best in the country.

Per 247 Sports’ Brandon Huffman, speed is Johnson’s greatest attribute and arguably the main reason that he is rated the 51st-best quarterback prospect in the country and the 55th-best player out of California.

“He’s got a unique skill set, with arm strength and a quicker, consistent release and a smooth motion,” Huffman wrote. “He is boiling with upside and has all the natural physical tools to be a great quarterback.”


Tao Johnson

ATH — Thunder Ridge (Idaho Falls)

6-2, 180

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

Considered the 2nd-best overall recruit in the 2022 class from Idaho and the 124th-best athlete in the country, Johnson committed to the Utes over offers from Washington State, Virginia and UNLV, among others.

Johnson has played on both sides of the ball in his high school career, at quarterback and defensive end, and according to his HUDL, runs a 4.4 second 40-yard dash.

Johnson took his official visit to Utah at the end of October and committed on Nov. 8.


Tyler Knaak

OT – Brighton (Salt Lake City)

6-7, 300

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

A target of multiple Power Five programs, including USC, Arizona State, Virginia, Minnesota and Oregon State, Knaak committed to the Utes on Dec. 6.

A multi-sport athlete — Knaak also wrestled for Brighton — Knaak was a high school teammate of highly touted Utah commit Lander Barton and helped the Bengals win eight games this past season and earn a berth in the 5A state tournament.


Justius Lowe

ATH/WR — Lake Oswego (Lake Oswego, Oregon)

6-1, 182

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

A prospect who announced his commitment just before the official opening of the early signing period, Lowe only held scholarship offers from a handful of FCS programs until Oct. 10, according to 247 Sports.

Over the last two months, however, he has received offers from half of the Pac-12 Conference and UNLV. He committed to the Utes having not taken an official visit to Salt Lake City (the Utes offered him a scholarship on Nov. 8 and he visited Colorado and Arizona State).

247 Sports designates him as an athlete, while Rivals lists him as a wide receiver.


Jocelyn Malaska

CB — Bethany (Bethany, Oklahoma)

6-1, 170

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

A one-time Texas Tech commit, Malaska announced his commitment to the Utes on Dec. 7, after an in-home visit with defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley.

In high school, Malaska was known for his versatility, spending time at wider receiver and defensive back, as well as punter and kick returner.

A multi-sport athlete — he also runs track and has experience with soccer — Malaska has the size and athleticism to be a contributor in the Utes’ secondary.


Ryan Peppins

WR — Thompson (Alabaster, Alabama)

5-8, 168

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

Ranked the 28th-best recruit in Alabama and a top 100 wide receiver (95 nationally), Peppins committed to Utah on Nov. 23, 2021. Previously committed to Western Kentucky, Peppins has additional offers from the Hilltoppers, Middle Tennessee State, Eastern Kentucky and Austin Peay.

As a senior, Peppins racked up 1,110 receiving yards — his second season with 1,000-plus receiving yards — and had two 200 yard games, one of which included five touchdowns scored.

Per 247 Sports, Peppins is a multi-sport athlete, having run track and played basketball.

As a junior, he placed 10th at the Alabama Class 7A Indoor State Championship in the 60-meter dash (7.12).


Chris Reed

WR — Wekiva (Apopka, Florida)

6-2, 190

★★★ — 247 Sports

Not rated — Rivals

An unheralded recruit up to this point in the recruiting cycle, Reed’s only scholarship offer is from Utah. The Utes offered Reed on October 5 and he committed the following day.

Per HUDL, Reed has seen time on both sides of the ball, playing both wide receiver and free safety and runs a 4.5 40-yard dash.

Reed is one of two wide receivers in Utah’s 2022 class and the second player from Florida to commit to the Utes.


Brandon Rose

QB — Murrieta Valley (Murrieta, California)

6-2, 195

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

The 39th-best quarterback prospect in the country and 53rd-best prospect out of California, Rose chose the Utes over offers from Northwestern, Arizona State, Boise State and Colorado, among others.

A pro-style quarterback, Rose played an abbreviated five-game junior season in 2020, but still managed to throw for 1,415 yards, 11 touchdowns and only one interception, while completing 69% of his pass attempts. The season before, he accounted for 3,087 passing yards and 30 touchdowns, to only four interceptions.

Rose is the second quarterback to commit to Utah as a member of the 2022 class, joining Clovis’ Nate Johnson.


Carson Tabaracci

ATH — Park City (Park City, Utah)

6-2, 225

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

A top 10 prospect in Utah (ranked No. 9), and the 37th-best athlete in the country, Tabaracci committed to the Utes on Nov. 19, 2021. The Miners’ star chose Utah over offers from USC, Notre Dame, Arizona and Air Force, among others.

Tabaracci was a do-everything type player for Park City as a senior. He had 174 receptions for 1,188 yards and 15 touchdowns, all team highs. He also carried the ball 23 times, rushing for 235 yards and two touchdowns.

Tabaracci also dabbled on defense and recorded five tackles.


Transfers

Logan Kendall

TE/FB — Cheney (Cheney, Washington)

6-3, 273

A two-star prospect coming out of high school, Kendall had an All-American career at the FCS level, operating largely as a blocker as either a fullback or tight end.

Kendall was a two-time first-team Big Sky selection as a fullback for the Vandals, and he also earned Phil Steele third-team All-America honors during the FCS spring 2021 season.

Over the past four seasons, he scored five touchdowns — three receiving and two rushing — and caught 18 passes for 204 yards.


Landon Morris

TE/WR — Fishers (Indianapolis, Indiana)

6-5, 225

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★  — Rivals

Rated 22nd-best prospect out of Indiana in 2021, Morris committed to Syracuse coming out of high school, but entered the transfer portal after a single season, choosing to transfer to Utah.

As a high school senior, he had offers from Michigan, UCF, Boston College and Iowa State, in addition to Syrcause.

In an interview with 247 Sports, Morris explained his decision to transfer was largely the result of not being used in the way that had been explained to him during the recruitment process.

“I don’t feel like I was being utilized the way I was being recruited,” Morris said. “I was told I was going to be used as a stretch tight end/receiver, but it just didn’t play out that way. The coaches had nothing but good intentions on their part, however it didn’t work out. I know the strong parts of my skill set and I know I can be a valuable piece to the right puzzle.”